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  • FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2017, file photo, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington. Hatch says he is retiring after four decades in Senate. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

  • FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., center, accompanied by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, right, signs the final version of the GOP tax bill during an enrollment ceremony at the Capitol in Washington. Hatch says he is retiring after four decades in Senate. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hatch says he is retiring after four decades in Senate (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Tuesday, January 02, 2018 2:50 pm

Hatch announces he will not seek re-election

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah says he will not seek re-election after serving more than 40 years in the U.S. Senate.

Hatch, 83, says he's always been a fighter, "but every good fighter knows when to hang up the gloves."

Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. He chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee and was a major force in getting a tax overhaul through in December. His retirement opens the door for Republican Mitt Romney to run for his seat.

Hatch says he decided to retire at the end of his seventh term after "much prayer and discussion with family and friends" over the holiday break.

He says "I may be leaving the Senate, but the next chapter in my public service is just beginning."